The pieces in this volume are political and personal commentary. Hazlitt deals with political subjects and figures (Chatham, Burke, Fox, Pitt), and literary personalities (Coleridge, Malthus, Southey). There are reviews of works of immediate social and intellectual importance eg. Robert Owen's New view of society. There are also articles on topics of perennial interest such as the spy-system. He provides a unique perspective on his contemporaries and his times.
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